Isotopic and other geochemical evidence for the origin of the Loch Uisg Granophyre, Isle of Mull, Scotland

Full chemical analyses, including some trace elements and both oxygen and strontium isotope abundance data are presented for samples collected from a traverse across the outcrop of the early Tertiary Loch Uisg Granophyre. Chemically, the body is rhyodacite with very uniform major and trace element composition. In contrast, depleted δ18O values vary widely from +1.5‰ in the south to −3.7‰ in the north (a distance of about 21/2 km), a range comparable to that for the intrusive rocks of Mull as a whole. This indicates more extensive groundwater interaction (i.e. higher water/rock ratios and/or higher temperatures of isotope exchange) towards the focus of the central intrusive complex. There is some degree of correlation between δ18O and iron oxidation ratios but no other evidence that the primary igneous geochemistry of these rocks has been significantly modified by hydrothermal alteration after emplacement of the pluton. Initial87Sr/86Sr ratios range from 0.71350 ± 9 to 0.71624 ± 6 and correlate with both Rb content and Rb/Sr ratio, the latter correlation yielding a pseudo-isochron of 260 ± 54 Ma at the time of emplacement. These results confirm a major contribution from an old crustal source region, ruling out formation of the granophyre solely from a basic parent magma. However, Rb-Sr data are presented for the Moine schists exposed in Mull and Morvern which also appear to rule out their involvement in the petrogenesis of the granophyre, either as a source region for melting, or as a bulk contaminant for a mantle-derived magma. The only viable hypotheses are assimilation at depth of? Lewisian into a basaltic fractionation sequence or partial melting of a Proterozoic basement such as that involved in the production of Caledonian granites in the Scottish Highlands.


Publication status:
Authors: Pankhurst, R.J., Walsh, J.N., Beckinsale, R.D., Skelhorn, R.R.

1 January, 1978
Earth and Planetary Science Letters / 38
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